Bonita 2021.1 Adds 'Unprecedented Number' of Open-Source of Features

Bonitasoft released version 2021.1 of its Bonita Platform today. There's a lot to see in this milestone release of the company's open-source, extensible platform for business process automation and optimization, but the marquee enhancement is Bonitasoft's decision to open source "an unprecedented number of features" in this release.

With Bonita 2021.1, the company aims to unify development tools between the open-source and commercial editions of Bonita to allow process automation teams and organizations to adopt and use open-source technology that adapts to their individual project governance needs.

"We want to boost process automatization adoption through the democratization of [digital process automation (DPA)], as we did 12 years ago with the democratization of [business process management (BPM)]," said Miguel Vald├ęs Faura, Bonitasoft founder and CEO, in a statement, "and at the same time, greatly simplify upgrades and downgrades between the Community and commercial Enterprise editions of Bonita. We were founded as a company on a commitment to open source, and we want anyone to be able to build an automation project on the Bonita platform."

The Bonita Platform was designed to accelerate the development and production of business applications, with clear separation between capabilities for visual programming and for coding," the company says. In other words, Bonita provides an alternative to separating the work of the professional developer from the "citizen developer" by including both visual programming and coding on the same platform.

"True collaboration from project conception to production, monitoring, and continuous improvement is now possible for process automation teams," the company says. This approach to low-code in a DPA platform allows professional developers to externalize the code and gives them the freedom to continue to use their existing tools. This unified platform was designed to ensure smooth collaboration and project governance with citizen developers that will leverage the visual programming capabilities of Bonita.

Bonita's visual programming capabilities include process modeling using the BPMN2 standard, a graphical editor with guidance and auto-completion, a shared repository, and multiple options to define and enforce business rules, including those intended to support project governance. Business users will also find wizards and guidance windows to help them with some technical configurations, including connectors to Salesforce CRM, UIPath RPA, SAP, and multiple databases.

With this release, Bonitasoft also announced new "turn-key" services packages designed to speed up project implementation and production upgrades for process automation teams. These packages are built on top of the commercial edition of the platform, which already includes additional capabilities to secure, scale, monitor and continuously improve process automation projects.

The Bonita Platform provides developers with extensive coding capabilities through archetypes (coding patterns or templates), so they can fully extend the automation project by integrating Bonita with other enterprise information systems using REST and custom connectors, and by customizing user interfaces. This separation, the company says, allows developers to code extensions outside Bonita, so development teams everywhere are free to use any development tools with which they are comfortable and efficient.

In addition to the new Software Development Kits that allow developers to create and test extension points, Bonita users can now reuse and extend Bonita Portal in their applications. This end user interface has been split into two unique Bonita applications (User App, Admin App) that can be used as is or customized with the natively provided UIDesigner.

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].